Did the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s gain space but lose some neighborhood flavor?

The July Fourth holiday weekend found shoppers at the Silver Lake Trader Joe’s exploring a newly expanded market. The grocery chain’s Hyperion Avenue outlet now claims nearly 12,000-square-feet of space (compared to about 8,700-square-feet before the expansion) after the store took over the former Video Hut space next door.  Most shoppers welcomed the additional room.  But Jessica Ritz of the Ritz Bites blog, said she’s already nostalgic for what’s missing, including the signs with local streets names posted at the check out stands and other features left out in the new decor:

“Sure, there might be 14 check-out aisles, plenty of wandering room, and expanded shelf space. But gone are the murals showing local landmarks: Dodger Stadium, Travel Town, the Observatory. In its place are other trying to be “funky” eclectic images that don’t have the neighborhood feel of the former decor. For all its shortcomings, I’ve always preferred this pre-mega-chain, old school-feeling TJs, for better or for worse.”

On Tuesday afternoon,  some of the shoppers who visited the Trader Joe’s for the first time since the expansion didn’t seem to miss the old store much.

“It seems huge,” said a shopper named Katie from Atwater Village. “The aisles [before]were so crowded. You could not get around other peoples’ carts.” Another customer, Jerry, from Silver Lake, said he noticed a larger selection of meats and produce. “I will probably drop by more often.”


  1. bigjoesisbetter

    oh Jessica,,,,get your food and get out of there….your supposed to go grocery shopping there….your not supposed to hang out making poopy face at the walls….

  2. I am sure it’s nice in the inside- the crowded isles were annoying- wish the parking situation was better. I tried to go on Monday and had to leave and drive to the Glendale store because of parking.

  3. it’s a grocery store. get over it.

  4. Those murals on the walls at Trader Joes are no more local than the chalk drawings on the sandwich boards at a Starbucks. My old Trader Joe’s in DC had a mural with cartoon caricatures of past presidents and drawings the White House and Washington Monument. It may feature local things but its all mandated by the corporate office.

  5. It’s amazing that they expanded so much yet the same outside ring is overly crowded, annoying, and smells of farting babies (maybe because of the farting baby that was there on Saturday, but who knows.) It’s like they used the same guy who drew the street and highway plans for LA.

  6. I liked it the way it was.

  7. Neighborhood Flavor ? The only “flavor” that store has is what u walk out with in yOur bag ! Otherwise its full of self absorbed westside transplant yuppies on cell phones ! The pasta aisle has more “neighborhood flavor” than the people who shop there . In out no eye contact , that’s neighborhood flavor ? No “mural” can mask NO flavor !

  8. “Dont”- I have to disagree. In out no eye contact? The Silver Lake Trader Joe’s employees always make a point to chat as I made my way through check out. They are friendly and conversational, asking about weekend plans and sharing their own, etc. Enough with the “self absorbed westside transplant yuppies on cell phones” self-righteous yelping. Everyone comes from somewhere and this neighborhood is no more homogenously “westside yuppies” than any other. I guarantee you there are plenty of westsiders still talking on their cell phones on the west side.

    While I am thrilled for the expanded space of the store, I was also disappointed to see the signs and mural gone. It doesn’t have to be an absolutely independently owned grocery store to be a participant in the community, and I miss those elements that reminded me that I was close to home. I hope they bring some of that back.

  9. What parking problem? Park at Gelson’s, there is a helpful signal for crossing the street, too.

  10. We know there are still plenty of West siders yapping on their cell phones on the West Side. That doesn’t mean that Silver Lake hasn’t been overtaken by them – it has, and it’s a drag. As a longtime resident, I hate to see the West Siders taking over what was once a great neighborhood. What’s with all these chicks in Juicy sweatsuits everywhere all of a sudden? And all these guys in Abercrombie shirts, wearing sweatpants with flip flops? And the newcomers make no eye contact, whereas Silver Lake used to be so friendly and laid back till very recently. Everyone has to be from somewhere else but how about not ruining the flavor of a neighborhood? I stay away from the West Side for a reason: the people there are more mainstream and conformist and dull, and now they’re bringing all that to this area that used to have its own style and flavor. I don’t object to newcomers, I just wish they’d try not to bring their horrible aesthetic and attitude with them.

  11. Oh, and the store: it’s an improvement. The old one was just too small. The parking is still a nightmare, though, so I try to go to odd hours, or go to another location when I’m going through other neighborhoods. Parking at Gelson’s – not recommended. My neighbor got towed for doing that. Gelson’s is really keeping a watch on their lot now as more and more people are trying to park there while they shop at TJs.

  12. The new space is fabulous! Now the store is roomy enough to enjoy carting down the aisles where you can pass someone without having to back up or bump into another shopper. (Sort of like some of the overcrowded Silver Lake streets) Sadly, parking will always be a hassle, so it’s just best to try and go during off times, whenever that may be.

  13. To people complaining about parking: there is an official overflow parking lot for TJ’s two doors down. I don’t know why they don’t make it clearer that this exists and its always half-empty

  14. Aldo Thee Apache

    ” full of self absorbed westside transplant yuppies on cell phones ”

    Yes, because it’s so much more of joy to listen to self-righteous xenophobic eastsiders on their cell phones.

  15. I know that with my busy schedule I rely on the comfort of shopping at my favorite overcrowded grocery store that will never, ever, ever change it’s decor. I remember the Ralph’s remodel of 95′ and the Von’s remodel of ’03. Now the busiest Trader Joe’s west of Santa Monica has expanded?!?!?! Coincidence? These corporate chains are trying to pull a fast one on all of us! Cleaner, larger aisles? New artwork? It is absolutely disgusting what they will do right in front of our eyes just to make a buck. CHARLES SHAW IS BLOOD MONEY!

  16. I agree! How dare these chain stores address the most glaring and obvious problems in their stores, AND FIX THEM?!!

  17. Ha ha Zim!

  18. That little bit of extra elbow room makes a big difference in Trader Joe’s. I’m sure the store will regain its local flavor with time.

  19. Good job Trader Joe’s Slverlake employees for using the entire parking lot instead of the side lot in the morning, and who said there’d parking problems when they expanded?

  20. Dear Jim,

    As an employee of TJ’s I can assure you none of the employees are allowed to park in the lower lot. Even in the early morning it’s mandatory that we park in the upper lot across the street from Mixto.

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